Recently, I found myself getting back into another “health” kick. Maybe it’s springtime rolling around the corner, and the idea that there’s no longer a nice, loose winter coat to cover up all of that weight gain during the winter. Or maybe it’s just the fact that being fit just feels a whole lot better and brings more energy.
Everyone has their own reasons for wanting to be in shape, and everyone has different things that motivate them. One very powerful motivator has always been competition – or “gamification” as some people refer to it these days. One good example of this are the Expresso bikes at the local YMCA gym around here. They’re networked to the Internet, and will mark down your time/distance on a leaderboard that the YMCA staff post up on the bulletin board near the exercise equipment.
I have to say, seeing my name up there on the list is quite motivating. It becomes a struggle to move your name further up to the top of the list. Suddenly, you’re competing out of pride in a sense, but you’re also gaining the benefit of weight-loss and a fit body.
Another way to use this kind of motivation to drive your exercise regimen is by entering into fitness competitions – so-called best body contests – for cold, hard cash. If you’ve never heard about this, you may be surprised to learn that there are lots of “best body contest” sites out there that will give cash awards to people that transform their physiques dramatically through exercise.
Entering a Best Body Contest
Here at MakeUseOf, we used a whole lot of tricks to stay healthy and help our readers stay fit. We use exercise Android apps as a personal trainer or to track fitness goals, we use online programs to stay in shape; heck, we even use infographics for fitness inspiration!
Well, what I’m going to offer you in this article is a list of five websites that annually give away cash to people that have developed their best body through exercise and diet. Prizes can range from a few hundred bucks to several thousand, but you know what, when you’re making the choice to run that last mile, or eat that jelly doughnut in the break room at work – that money can really be a great motivator to do the right thing.
One site that has been doing this “Biggest Loser” style giveaway is a site called Healthy Loser. As far as I can tell, it’s also one of the bigger prizes I’ve seen for such an online contest.
The one drawback is that there’s an entry fee of $100. This almost made me close the page and search out better contests, but then I spotted the “Accredited Business” badge from the Better Business Bureau, checked out the actual link to make sure it was really listed, and sure enough, it was. The site is legit, and they certainly do give away a prize to the healthiest loser! The testimonial images are also pretty inspiring as well.
If big money is a motivator, and you don’t mind submitting your photos and proving weight loss with “weigh-in” sessions (via Skype, video-taped or from a doctor), then this is the contest for you.
Of course, one of the most motivational sites for me, any time I get back into working out, has always been BodyBuilding.com. So, it should come as no surprise that Body Building offers regular fitness challenges to its readers.
You do need to be a “BodySpace” member to take part in the contests, but membership as well as the entry to the contests are totally free. Plenty of these are actually fitness model competitions to not only win cash, but to be featured in the magazine as well.
However, there are plenty of other fitness contests for folks that are not aspiring models, and just want to see if they could actually win a best body contest at a bodybuilding site like this. Now that would be an amazing accomplishment. Prizes run the whole spectrum – everything from an opportunity to train with 50 Cent to the annual military challenge where you get a trip to see the Arnold Sports Festival.
Of course, some “best body” contests are exactly that – they’re about nothing except who has got the best body. In that arena, TMZ has you covered with the TMZ Beachin’ Body Contest.
Given, you can win a $250 prize and other gifts in the process, but for that cash you’re pretty much presenting yourself to the TMZ readership as drool material for the opposite gender. You would think that the people that enter these are mostly aspiring fitness models – but you’ll actually find a wide assortment of firm bodies of both genders and all walks of life in the annual slideshow of contestants.
If your speed is less about vanity and more about just melting off the fat and getting healthy, you may want to check out the Burn The Fat Challenge. This is a fitness site owned and operated by fitness guru and author Tom Venuto.
The contest rules imply that you don’t need to pay and that entering the contest is free, but it does say throughout that you need to be a Burn the Fat inner circle member, and joining features credit card icons, so I’m assuming that you do need to sign up as a member to enter these contests.
With that said, the prizes aren’t too shabby – there are nearly two dozen sprees ranging from $500 to $100. This is an ideal place to enter contests if you’re looking for a fitness site to become a member of (with an associated monthly fee) – but if you’re just looking for a one-shot deal, you may want to go for one of the other contest sites listed in this article.
Years ago, I read the book Body for Life by Bill Phillips. It was a very inspiring book, and helped me drop about 30 pounds through weight training and aerobic activity as well as diet. Since then, Body For Life has become a total brand in itself. I’m not sure if Bill Phillips is associated with it any more, but the site remains as motivational as ever through continued Body for Life fitness challenges.
Grand prize is $5,000 cash, and you’ll also get a home gym. Not only that, you get to be featured in one of the famous Body-for-Life photo montages (this was plastered in the front and back of Bill’s book as well and was great motivation).
Oh – and if you’re up for the challenge, supposedly the transformations you see above take just 12 weeks. Seriously. I kept up with the program in my late 20′s and got about half-way there, before life took over (as it always does). The transformation was certainly happening, that’s for sure. Maybe if I’d been enrolled in an actual contest – I might have made it!
So, those are the 5 best body contests that have some of the better cash prizes out there. If you’re not so much into showing off your body in photos and just want some cash motivation – don’t forget to check with various health food or nutritional companies out there. Many times, they’ll encourage people to get healthy (and use their products) through cash motivation with such contests. One example of that is Your Best Body by YOR health products (located across the world).
In this case, smaller challenge awards are just for free products, but the large championship grand prize is actually $3,000 cash and a trip for two.
So, as you can see, there’s plenty of motivation out there to get back in shape and earn some moola in the process. It’s spring already, so you know that those beach days are coming soon. Why not sign up at a few of these sites and get yourself ready for that fateful moment when you know you’re going to have to strip down to your swimsuit.
Have you ever entered any fitness contests like this? Do you think you have what it takes to enter a best body contest? Offer your own experiences and fitness tips in the comments section below!
Image Credit: bodybuilding man and woman via Shutterstock